ISLAMABAD, Aug 28 (APP):Members from both sides of the aisle in the Senate Tuesday demanded that government
agencies should take action against those who were committing blasphemy against
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on social media and at other media platforms.
They were taking part in a debate in Senate here on an adjournment motion moved by
Senator Muhammad Ali Khan Saif regarding the continuous display of abusive and
blasphemous material against the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Senator Mushtaq Ahmed said Pakistan was facing a cultural invasion and encircled by
enemies of Islam.
He said Islam was present from one corner to another corner of the world, adding the
eminence of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) could not be lessened by certain elements
in the west.
He said freedom of social media should be curtailed as it was enjoying unbridled
freedom and people on it were making fun of Islam and Islamic personalities.
United Nations and European Union should be approached on the issue of blasphemy, he
Leader of the House Shibli Faraz said a committee headed by Senator Muhammad Ali Saif
should be formed to further look into the matter.
Senator Khushbakht Shujaat agreed that the government should act on the matter and also
take up the issue at international forums.
Senator Azam Swati said it was an issue related to the whole humanity and disrespect hurt
the sentiments of Muslims.
The love for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was part of feelings of every Muslim.
He said oversight of social media should be increased.
Senator A Rehman Malik condemned the making of caricatures against Prophet Muhammad
He said action should be initiated against those propagating anti-Islam and
anti-Pakistan views.
He said the government should buy equipment worth $ 25 million for Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to block blasphemous material and anti-Islam views.
Senator Attiq Sheikh endorsed the views of other Senators and said Federal Investigation Agency
(FIA), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and Pakistan Electronic Media
Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had failed to take action against insulting material.
He supported the idea of formation of a committee that could take workable steps to address
the issue.
The Muslim Ummah would not tolerate the blasphemous material, he
Senator Moulvi Faiz Muhammad said Muslims would not tolerate insult of prophets
recognized by Islam. He said Muslims should boycott the products of those
committing blasphemy as a mark of protest.
Senator Usman Kakar said his party Pakhtunkhwa Milly Awami Party (PKMAP) condemned blasphemy in the strongest possible words and action should be taken against the
Senator Sajid Mir appreciated Senator Muhammad Ali Saif for representing feelings of
the Muslims and said it was matter of faith that prophets should be respected.
He called for action against those spreading blasphemy on the social media.
Senator Imamuddin Shouqeen said protest should be registered with the embassy of Netherlands and the Dutch companies doing business in Pakistan and earning profits in billions
should be put on notice and told about the situation arising out of the acts of
blasphemy in Netherlands.
Deputy Chairman Senate Saleem Mandviwala said he would consult with leaders of the
house and opposition for formation of committee to further deliberate on the
While giving viewpoint of the government, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said freedom
of speech and expression had its limits and the west also set the limit by not
allowing people to distort events of the holocaust.
He said no civilized society allowed limitless freedom as happened in the case of language
used against women.
The minister said if steps were not taken against blasphemy it would ignite religious
The cabinet in the first meeting expressed its anger and grief on the issue of blasphemy and the Dutch ambassador was called to the Foreign Office to make him aware of the situation.
He said after passage of the resolution in Senate, he wrote letters to Secretary
General Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) asking it to call meeting of
the permanent representatives based in Jeddah.
Letters were also written to the six member countries of OIC, he added.
Shah Mehmood said he would raise the issue at OIC forum during the meetings of the United
Nations General Assembly.
The minister said previously after incidents of blasphemy, OIC warned of blockade of goods
of countries where blasphemy was being committed and that sent a message to
those countries.
He said the issue would also be raised in United Nations and European Union, adding he was
conveyed by PTA that it blocked 32,000 websites and links posting blasphemous
He said Dutch Foreign Minister was likely to contact him and he would convey feelings
of people of Pakistan and representatives of Parliament.